Monday, 28 May 2012

Update

It's been a while since I last posted something so thought it was about time for an update..  there's plenty to tell, too :)

Trio with Phillip Marks and Dominic Lash, and related doings


So, the tour of North West England with Phil (drums) and Dominic (bass) in late March was great fun - we played three consecutive nights in Lancaster (hosted by fantastic pianist/improviser Stephen Grew), Manchester (hosted by guitarist Dave Birchall), and Liverpool (hosted by my friends at the Frakture organisation). The trio felt like a really natural fit from the outset and a very welcome step forward for me in lots of ways.

This was followed by a cracking quartet gig back in London at my old regular haunt The Oxford in Kentish Town, with special guest Han-Earl Park on guitar, who was visiting from New York.  It was great to play with Han and I think we gelled really well as a quartet.  Some audio from this gig will be forthcoming..

Finally, I just got back from a 3-day residency at Falmouth University College with Phil, Dominic and our host, laptop-ist Federico Reuben (of Squib-Box artist collective), who now lectures at UCF.  We taught some workshops, played two concerts (one of which featured an incredible duo set by Stephen and Nick Grew on piano and electronics respectively, plus an interesting sextet set at the end), and made a quartet recording in the University's very nice recording facility, which I'm pretty excited about - I haven't had chance to listen back to the results yet but this one might well be seeing the light of day.......!


Mini-Tour of Belgium

In mid-May I had the pleasure of being invited by saxophonist Joe Higham to play some gigs together in Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp, with the fantastic bass and drums of Hugo Antunes and Jakob Warmenbol, playing a mixture of free improvisations and Joe's compositions.  The group seemed to work well straight away and the gigs all felt really comfortable, so I hope we get to do it again.

There was also a last-minute gig/recording in Ghent with the Coltrane-inspired duo of Giovanni Barcella (drums) and Jeroen Van Herzeele (tenor sax) augmented by myself, Joe and Hugo - ie 3 tenors, bass and drums!!!  Was great fun, pretty noisy - no idea what it sounded like but hopefully I'll get to hear the recording at some point.. there was also a memorable night at the Hot Club de Gand, first with the quartet then in a great open session led by trumpeter Bart Maris.


Machine Mass Trio

I'm delighted to have been invited to join the 'Machine Mass Trio' with Belgium-based guitarist Michel Delville and drummer Tony Bianco, with whom I've had the privilege of playing semi-regularly over the last couple of years.  The trio have already released an album with their previous line-up called 'As Natural As Thinking' on Moonjune Records, a mix of Michel and Tony's compositions (often incorporating pre-recorded loops and free improvisation), which you can read about/hear/buy here.  We're starting to plan some dates in the UK and Europe for this band in the coming Autumn onwards.

Tony, Michel and I also played an improvised gig at pianist Mike Hurley's Fizzle night in Birmingham in April, a short video clip of which is here.


Duo with Olie Brice

Regular co-conspirator Olie Brice and I have been getting together fairly often for improvised duo sessions in our local area, and are heading into the studio in early June. We already did one afternoon's recording in September 2011, but the music has moved on a lot since then, so it'll be interesting to see what outcomes this one yields!


I think that's all for now - things are calming down again now but I will post again soon with updates about the above-mentioned recordings, and others.........


Thanks for reading,

Mark

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